Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi, former Emir of Kano, has said Nigeria made no progress in 40 years.
Sanusi said this at a colloquium to mark his 60th birthday.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there is a need for growth in the economy.
‘I’ve paid the price for speaking the truth’
He said although he has paid the price for speaking the truth, Nigerians were the ones paying the real price “in form of poverty, insecurity, and high rate of inflation”.
“When you are in a society that is so abnormal, you cannot afford to be a conformist, because if you all conform, things will not change.”
“Many years ago, when I was screaming about the billions being spent on fuel subsidy, I remember there was an attempt to attack my house in Kano. Then I was in the CBN. Where are we today? We are face to face with the reality — that fuel subsidy is unsustainable.
‘We must face the facts’
“Calling me an enemy or critic will not make those facts go away. So, anywhere we go, we must face these facts. I have tried not to say much, not because there is nothing to say or because I am afraid of speaking. The reason I have not spoken much in the last two years is because, I don’t even have to say anything anymore, because all the things we were warning about have come.
“According to the World Bank, where were we in 2019? At this rate, in the next two years, in terms of purchasing power parity, the average income of a Nigerian would have gone back to what it was in 1980 under Shehu Shagari. That means in 40 years, we made zero progress; 40 years wasted.
“We have a responsibility as a people to rise and improve the lives of the people of this country. When there is fire, everyone has to go with a bucket of water. We need to understand how our economy works as a people; we need to understand our choices.
“Even this shout about restructuring is about economics; it is about resources. We need to grow this economy and make it work for the poor people.”
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; former Deputy Governor of CBN, Kingsley Moghalu; the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe; Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamali; attended the colloquium.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who is currently abroad, joined virtually.